neil gaiman

Modern Fantasy (Summer 2012)
$95.00

In this class, we will examine the work of some of the top fantasy writers of the last fifty years.  The works we will discuss in this class do not constitute an orderly or systematic survey of the development of the fantasy genre, but rather a series of case studies.  We will read six books by six different authors.  As we discuss each book, we will compare and contrast the authors’ approach to fantasy and subcreation, myth and magic.

This term, we will explore Peter Beagle’s shrewd contemplation of fantasy and the fairy-tale tradition in The Last Unicornand Ursula Le Guin’s classic of modern subcreation, A Wizard of Earthsea.  We will look at several works which conceptualize the frontiers between our mundane world and the realm of Faerie; Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Jim Butcher’s Summer Knight both give us stories of humans with a magical heritage who cross this frontier and become embroiled in the high matters of Faerie.  Garth Nix’s Sabriel is also focused on frontiers, dealing with not only a boundary between the mundane and the magical, but also with a parallel boundary between life and death.  We will also tackle George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones, the first volume of The Song of Ice and Fire, which might be the most massive and intricate subcreative undertaking in literature in the last fifty years.

Taught By

Professor Corey Olsen

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Course Schedule

Modern Fantasy (Summer 2012)

Book List

The Last Unicorn - Peter Beagle
A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin
Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Summer Knight – Jim Butcher
Sabriel – Garth Nix
A Game of Thrones – George RR Martin

Price: $95.00
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The Gothic Tradition (Spring 2014)
$95.00

The Gothic literary tradition began in the mid-eighteenth century in Europe and lives on in various forms across the globe through contemporary fiction, poetry, art, music, film, and television. Mad scientists, blasted heaths, abandoned ruins, elusive ghosts, charming vampires, and even little green men people its stories. With ingredients such as a highly developed sense of atmosphere, extreme emotions including fear and awe, and emphases on the mysterious and the paranormal, Gothic works tend to express anxieties about social, political, religious, and economic issues of the time, as well as rejection of prevailing modes of thought and behavior. This course will investigate the fascinating and subversive Gothic imagination (from the haunted castles of Horace Walpole to the threatening aliens of H.P. Lovecraft, from Dracula to Coraline), identify the historical conditions that have inspired it, consider how it has developed across time and place and medium, and explore how it has left its indelible imprint on the modern genres of science fiction and fantasy.

Taught By

Professor Amy H. Sturgis

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Course Schedule

The Gothic Tradition (Spring 2014)

Book List

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
The Italian, or The Confession of the Black Penitents by Ann Radcliffe
The Portable Edgar Allan Poe
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Two Early Vampire Tales: John Polidori’s The Vampyre & J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
Millennium Season One
Doctor Who Season 3
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
El Orfanato (The Orphanage) directed by J.A. Bayona

Price: $95.00
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